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Author Topic: South Foreland Lighthouse  (Read 4457 times)

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Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: South Foreland Lighthouse
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2012, 19:30:18 »
Many thanks for lighting her up, Delver. It was a magnificent sight which I wish that could be continued.

A day without learning something is a day lost and my brain is hungry. Feed me please.


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Re: South Foreland Lighthouse
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2012, 11:55:33 »
Hi there,

Many thanks for the positive comments regarding the Jubilee celebration at South Foreland. I came across this post on an internet search, so I thought I would join up, post a bit of background for those interested and say hello.

I was involved with coordinating the Jubilee event at South Foreland, it had been a year in the planning.

It was actually in the original sale documents of the property that we would never shine a light again. So permission had to be sought from the Elder Brethren of Trinity House and the MCGA to get the go ahead. On the night a warning to shipping had to be transmitted every 30 minutes by the MCGA.

It truly was a one off to do the event, the lighthouse was actually the highest light in England and Wales in its time. They cheated by building it onto of 300 feet cliffs. This means that the distance of the light / arc of visibility is very large, a minimum of 27 nautical miles to sea level. So it was quite confusing to the Channel shipping lanes.

In  terms of operationally sorting out the re-lighting, the Victorian mechanism which spins the giant optical lens was still in situ and in working order. The optical lens had intact fesnel lenses installed and shutters at different points around the circle thus giving the characteristic ‘flash’, 3 flashes every 20 seconds. The challenge was around redesigning the control gear and picking the types of bulb to go inside the optic. In the end we opted for a 2000 watt metal halide discharge lamp but we also designed a back up for inside as well, just in case something dreadful happened! This had to be located spot on in the bulls eye of the Fresnel lens to create the powerful parallel beam. The switch was rewired from the original 1960’s switch gear which had been decommissioned in 1988. A triple thick, fire proof blackout curtain was made to test the light and in fact this currently remains in situ, as does the light, so for the next few weeks if people want to see the light confined to the lamp room they can.

The switch on was done by a local family from the St Margaret’s who had put in for a raffle. Lots of people love the lighthouse and some have volunteered there from the beginning, so this seemed to be the fairest way to choose. It turned out in the end that they were related to some of the Keepers at North Foreland - so a fitting link!

We ran the light until 6:30 am after which the long clean up began!

South Foreland is an interesting place to visit and I would be more than happy to offer a private and subsidised visit for KHF members should any members be interested.




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Re: South Foreland Lighthouse
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2012, 22:51:02 »
I attended the lighting of the beacon at Horrid Hill last night despite suffering from major toothache....It was excellent....Me and my Doggie had a great time....Glad I made the effort Something to remember.....

Offline kyn

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Re: South Foreland Lighthouse
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2012, 22:07:00 »
It must have such an amazing sight, I wish I had been able to make the trek myself :)

Offline Riding With The Angels

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South Foreland Lighthouse
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2012, 21:18:38 »
On the night of 04 June 2012 many beacons were lit across the land to celebrate the Jubilee.

The most powerful of these was the lighting of the light at South Foreland for the first time since 1988. What a sight is was scanning across the fields and out to sea illuminating the ferries.

I made the trek - well it was somewhere different to go and something to see that I might not again.


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